Did you know there are over 900,000 salons in the United States?

Let’s say that each of those salons has 8 stylists, those stylists see about 200 clients a month, do you know how much waste is generated from those clients? According to GreenCirclesSalons.com, that one salon would be producing about 781lbs of color, 2,300lbs of hair, 1,905lbs of metal, 3,505lbs of paper, 2,783lbs of plastic, and 878lbs of single use items. In one year all the salons across the US create over 10 million pounds of waste. Have you thought about the impact of your salon’s waste on the planet or what you could do to become a sustainable or green salon? Green Beauty is something we can all work on to keep our world beautiful.

Everyone wants to feel beautiful, but at what cost to the planet does that come? As beauty professionals we should be looking at our impact on the beauty of the world outside of our salons and spas. There are many ways to become a sustainable business while still building clients and making money, there is no reason why being beautiful and keeping the planet beautiful can’t work hand in hand.

Here are some tips on how you can reduce your waste, repurpose certain items, and recycle others.

What to do with hair clippings?

An easy way to recycle hair clippings is to get a TerraCycle “Zero Waste Box”. Just choose the box you need, collect the clippings, and ship back for the hair to be composted in gardens or farms. Hair can be used in composting since it is made of proteins, it can be matted up and used as a weed barrier, or stuffed in nylon bags to be used for soaking up oil spills. Check with your local organizations for ways you can donate your salons clippings.

What to do with used foils, hair color tubes, and other metals?

Foils can and should be recycled; otherwise they will spend 400 years sitting in a landfill as they break down. Color tubes should be emptied completely by using a tube squeezer and recycled along with foils. Many municipalities don’t have recycling programs, why not bond together with other businesses near your salon and take turns taking your recyclables to a recycling plant, many will even pay you for the materials.

What to do with left-over color?

Green Circles Salons will take your collected excess hair color and recycle it! The waste is sent to one of their partner facilities and turned into clean energy, separated into water to be cleaned, and the oil is blended into fuel. How amazing we have the technology to make sure these chemicals don’t make it into our groundwater.

What to do with plastics?

So much of salon waste is plastics from shampoo and conditioner bottles to all different kinds of styling products and even combs and brushes. These are generally the easiest to recycle; just make sure the bottles are rinsed out and separate your plastic from your metal.

What to do with single use items?

The easiest way is to not use them, unless mandated by local or federal law for services, just don’t use single use items. Instead of single water bottles, get a water cooler or even a Berkey stand alone filter and glasses from the dollar store for clients to use. Make sure technicians are adhering to proper sanitation protocols for their tools so that every client is getting a clean and sanitized experience. As for wax strips and cotton swabs, there are recycling programs you are able to sign up for as well, such as through Green Circles Salons.

As salon professionals we have made a commitment to making the world a more beautiful place, let’s make sure we strive to keep our world clean too so we can keep doing what we love. For more information about recycling programs for your salon, take a look at greencirclesalons.com or glorecycling.com.

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